Gearing Up and Flying Out

This week has been a chaotic mix of planning our alternate route, purchasing last minute items, and deciding what gear to bring and what to leave at home.  Tomorrow morning Becky and I drive to Boston and at 5 am Tuesday morning I fly out.  The moment of truth is upon us.  I’ve been working on various equipment lists for several months now and the length of that list has grown and shrank many times as I compare notes with my fellow riders and read blogs of people who’ve done this trip before me.  I’ve decided to share a list of everything I’m starting off with and will plan to update it later when I know what I actually use, what I send back from various post offices along the route, and what I decided to leave behind that I wish I had.

Tonight I had a small send off cook-out with my dear friends Josie and Georgia.  I had a slightly tearful goodbye with sweet little G  who we’ve told I’m going away to “Bicycle College” to help her understand that I’m leaving for a while but will come back soon.  Neither she or I can wait to resume our Friday night sleepovers in my Big Huge House.  Now that I’ve said my goodbyes and checked and rechecked my lists, I’m truly feeling ready.  I turned my huge piles of clothes and gear that have been strewn across my tiny house all week into two large cardboard boxes tied neatly with my clothes line and the rope I’ll use to hang my food each night, keeping it out of reach of pesky Grizzly’s.

Onion River Sports once again helped me out by boxing up my bike neatly and in such a way that it’s sure to reach Bamff in good health.  Each box I check on the plane is allowed to be a maximum of 50 pounds.   As I am not the type to own a bathroom scale Becky’s mom was gracious enough to get me a small luggage scale, which has been invaluable in my quest to sort my gear in such a way that neither box exceeds the 50 pound limit.

After weeks of hemming and hawing and reading about others’ experiences, here are the items that made the cut.  Sorry if the bike stuff is in a foreign language, I wanted to post specs in case it’s helpful to other folks riding this route in the future.  There are a few obvious omissions, like pots and pans, that will be group gear and thus others are carrying.  My dear friend Leslie is bringing a second stove and we plan to have a “Cook Off” on two consecutive nights in our first week.  Loser gets to send their stove home which sounds like counter-incentive to me, but I’ll take it!

GDMBR Gear List

My Bike, My Baby!
Surly “Ogre” hard tail 29er with a Rigid fork
Tubes – Stans Fluid  Tire Sealant (“Slime Tubes” to reduce # of flats)
Specialized Speed zone Wireless Computer
Ergon GP3-L handlebar Grips (assist with climbing)
Surly Nice Rack –front
Sunlite Back Rack
small front Down-tube Fender
4 waterproof Sunlite Panniers
Ortlieb Handle Bar Bag w/ map case
Shimano SPD Pedals with Specialized shoes
5 foot cable w/ pad lock
5 Bontrager water bottle holders w/ 4 water bottles
headlight/tail light
Adventure Cycling Maps

Tools/spare parts
Tire Pump
4 Tire Levers
patch kit/extra patches
2 spare tubes
Park multi-tool w/ chain breaker and spoke/Allen wrenches
Power Link
Tri Flow lube
break/derailleur cables
spare rack bolts
zip ties
spare spokes
therma-rest repair kit
MSR Simmerlight stove repair kit

bike Helmet
2 jersey’s
2 bike shorts
nylon sleeping/hiking shorts
arm warmers
Rain pants
Rain jacket
Black long john leggings
Down jacket
cotton tee shirt
3 bike socks
1 wool socks
2 underwear
1 sports bra
fingered and fingerless bike gloves
fleece hat
thin gloves
safety riding glasses

Camping gear:
MSR Hubba Hubba 2 person tent  (I like space for my gear to stay inside with me)
full length Thermarest
REI Mojave 10 degree down sleeping bag w/ compression stuff sack
Black Diamond LED headlamp
extra batteries
2×4 ft  ¼ inch foam pad to sit on when ground is wet

Tupperware (dish, store leftovers, lid=cutting board)
folding cup for hot drinks
SteriPen water purifier
water tablets for backup
4 liter MSR water drom
MSR SimmerLight Stove
24oz MSR white gas fuel bottle
Bag each of home Dried Tomatoes, Shiitake’s, and apples
Cliff Bars (because they were on sale)

Odds and Ends
bear spray (need to get in Banff)
bear rope (30 feet)
clothes line (15 feet) with 6 clothes pins
duct tape
wallet, Credit Cards, ID, Health insurance card, etc.
reading book
McCoy’s Great Divide Book

Nikon point and shoot Camera
Extra AA/AAA Batteries
extra SD memory card
Camera USB Cord
IPhone back up battery pack (stores 2 phone charges)

shampoo/conditioner  (mixed)
fingernail clippers
bug spray
sun screen
First Aid Kit (very simple)
Card listing emergency contacts and medical info
ultra light towel


One thought on “Gearing Up and Flying Out

  1. Hi! My name is Ines and I am from Uruguay (South America). I follow your blog because of the tiny house (love this little things and I’m planning to build one myself). My brother is a sports teacher and a proffesional athletic trainer, he loves to do this type of bike trips with friends when he get’s the chance. Two or three days trips. It’s really fun to listen to all the stories afterwards.
    Sooo: Good luck with your adventure, and make sure you take lots of picture and share them with us 🙂
    Oh, and after ten years as a Scout Leader, I would make just one change to your list: add more socks! Really, after heavy rain or something, the one thing you need is warm feet (and two more warm sock don’t weight that much).
    Have fun!

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